What are the Major Ways Radiation Damages DNA?

Ionizing radiation is a type of high-energy radiation that has the potential to release electrons from atoms and molecules, creating ions that can break covalent bonds. This type of radiation can directly affect the structure of DNA by inducing DNA breaks, particularly double-stranded breaks (DSB). Additionally, it can generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) that oxidize proteins and lipids, as well as cause various types of DNA damage, such as the generation of abasic sites and single-stranded breaks (SSB). All of these changes can lead to cell death and mitotic insufficiency.

Radiation can also damage chromosomal DNA inside the cell nucleus, which can cause cancer. However, it is not known how this occurs or how many tumors are caused by radiation damage. There are two main ways that radiation can damage DNA inside living cells:1.

Directly hitting the DNA molecule

, ionizing and damaging it.2.Ionizing water molecules, producing free radicals that react with and damage DNA molecules.Ionizing radiation is a powerful force that can have serious consequences on living cells. It is important to understand how it works and how it can affect our health in order to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from its damaging effects.

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